Chuka Umunna trots out an utterly ‘disgraceful’ lie as massive numbers of kids live in poverty

Chuka Umunna
Fréa Lockley

Chuka Umunna quite rightly got slated for making “disgraceful” comments BBC Politics Live on 18 November. Because as new figures showed child poverty and foodbank use have hit horrific highs, he seemed to argue that austerity was over.

“Beyond austerity” – wtaf?!

Liberal Democrat candidate Umunna claimed:

We’re beyond austerity now.

Thankfully, economist Grace Blakeley took Umunna down, saying:

We are so not beyond austerity. That is a disgraceful thing to say.

“Foodbank hell”

As Umunna made his controversial comments, exclusive research from the Mirror revealed the tragic reality of austerity. Because after nearly ten years of Conservative-led (and Lib-Dem-enabled) rule, “foodbank demand has rocketed by 3,772%”. In 2009/10, the largest “foodbank network had 57 outlets”, providing 40,898 aid packages, 13,959 of these to children. But by March 2019, the same network had 425 foodbanks. That’s a 646% increase. And in 2018, it gave away 1,583,668 food parcels – about 577,618 of these to children.

And that’s not all.

In 2018, “child poverty in working families rose” 38%. So 2.9 million children from such families now live in poverty. That’s 800,000 more children since 2010. This is in homes where at least one parent works. According to the Trades Union Congress, this affects “one in four children”. Universal Credit is largely to blame for these shocking statistics.

In response, Jeremy Corbyn told the Mirror:

These shocking figures should shame the Conservatives. Their policies have pushed people into destitution. It is a national scandal that so many families can’t afford food.


With the above statistics in mind, many people unsurprisingly tore into Umunna:

Meanwhile, there are many other “horrific consequences of austerity”:

Perfect storm

Universal Credit, alongside a lack of social housing, soaring private rents, zero-hours jobs, and over nine years of Conservative-led austerity created a perfect storm that’s destroyed lives. And let’s not forget, Umunna’s latest party enabled that.

So if anyone needed any reason not to vote Lib Dem in this election, just listen to Umunna’s utterly “disgraceful” lie.

Featured image via screengrab/YouTube

Get involved

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us